In warm conditions, rusty Bridge succumb to Ruislip 2XV
Bridge put in good shift but late rally and complacency lets Ruislip back in
Uxbridge took the short well-trodden path down the A40 to Ruislip to face on a team that we’ve played numerous times in the past couple years- often with close results.
This time was no different as both teams in their first friendlies of the season had clear signs of rust, creating a first half a scrappy affair in which no team could get a proper foothold in the game.
For the opening 20 minutes Ruislip controlled much of the ball but found in Uxbridge’s defence a fierce rear-guard action with telling tackles from Tom Rainey, Ieuan Jones, Sam Dilllamore and new-boy flanker Kyle Buckingham.
Good work from a stray Ruislip kick gave Uxbridge the chance to attack down the middle, and strong carries from Sean McAndrew, Naz Raithu and quick recycling of the ball in the forwards allowed Ieuan Jones to slip through and take the score to 5-0.
This started a period of domination for Uxbridge as more regular visits to the Ruislip 22 did not yield as many points as hoped, but a break down the middle was held up just short before Mark Coles picked from the base of the ruck and dotted down to give a two-try lead.
Ruislip managed to pull a score back with some good, direct running to take the half-time score to 12-7.
After a relative lullaby of a team talk from coaches Ron Matthews and John Porter-Griffiths, the message was to go out in the second half, fan from the rucks and keeping going in the hot conditions.
In truth, the second period was a tale of two halves- the first twenty minutes, Uxbridge came out flying and added three more tries in quick succession- the pick from Naz Raithu who burned his opposite man and most of the Ruislip back line to score in the corner.
The final quarter of the game saw Uxbridge take their foot off the gas through a mixture of complacency, lack of experience seeing out a game and several interchanges due to injuries sustained. This allowed Ruislip back into the game to station themselves in the Uxbridge 22 and register four unanswered tries (could be argued some were dubious- a debate for another day) and take the final score to 31-29.
In all, a good afternoon for Uxbridge. A run-out against a good well-drilled side and positive debuts from Kyle Buckingham who was everywhere, Michael King putting in some good kicks, and Adam Dender who did a sterling job against Ruislip’s generously build front-row.
Uxbridge return to action next week (Saturday 8 September) in a club friendly against Hammersmith and Fulham 3XV at home-kick off 2pm. Please try to make yourself available, or come down and support the boys.